Five kitchen workers at Camp Lutherhaven have been sickened by E. coli, Idaho Panhandle Health officials confirmed this morning.
Three more staffers are ill, but lab tests haven’t linked it to the bacterial infection.
No one has been hospitalized and the ill workers have been excluded from the kitchen. None of the 300-plus campers has reported getting sick during the first two weeks of summer camp along the shores of Lake Coeur d’Alene.
A review of the camp by health and safety investigators determined that the camp’s food handling procedures were more than adequate. They suspect that the employees may have contracted the infection in their living quarters.
The strain at Camp Lutherhaven is E. coli 026. It is different from the deadly strain that spread across Europe last month sickening several thousand people and killing at least 47.
E. coli bacteria live in the intestines of people and animals. Symptoms can include bloody diarrhea, stomach cramps, nausea, and fever.
Some strains are especially dangerous and can lead to organ damage and kidney failure.